10 Years: ‘Apologies To The Queen Mary’ by Wolf Parade

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By Greg

On Sep 27, 2015

September 27th, 2005.

That day, Spencer Krug, Arlen Thompson, Hadji Bakara and Dan Boeckner released their debut full-length album, Apologies to the Queen Mary.  An innovative and captivating record front to back, it undeniably influenced many artists and fans alike,  including myself.  Wolf Parade remain in the hearts and minds of music fans around the world.  If you haven’t visited the Wolf Parade Fansite, it is a fantastic hub of information and passion for a band that means so much to so many.

It has been an absolute pleasure working with Dan Boeckner over the past year.  Dan is one of the most hardworking, talented, honest and caring individuals I know. His passion for his craft bleeds into every project he has been involved in, explaining why albums like ‘Apologies’ have proven it can stand the test of time.

Looking back on the record that started it all we smile, we reminisce, and we celebrate.

– James Trauzzi, VP Marketing / A&R @ Last Gang Records
WP-1(* all photos by Riley Taylor from Wolf Parade’s last show in Toronto – Nov 26, 2010 @ the Sound Academy)

Apologies To The Queen Mary 
by Wolf Parade (2005)

Ian Bevis (Bear Mountain) on “You Are A Runner And I Am My Father’s Son”:
“The first time I heard Wolf Parade I was in my second year of University driving in my friends car. The song was ‘You Are A Runner And I am My Father’s Son’. The drum intro sounded like thunder, and as soon as Spencer Krug’s vocal came in, I had good bumps. I went and bought the CD, and started listening the the album on repeat. I still remember first making my way through the record, with my jaw on the floor. This felt the music I had been waiting for, but didn’t know I needed. The blend of synths, drums, guitars and vocals felt like they were the rocket ship that would take me to the next stage of the evolution of everything I thought I band and music could be. There are moments in songs like Songs like ‘Shine A Light’, ‘I’ll Believe In Anything’ and ‘This Heart’s  On Fire’ that give me goosebumps to this day, and without those songs and this record, I’m not sure I would be making the music I am today.”

Steve Jordan (Polaris) on the 2006 Polaris Music Prize:

“All memories of ATTQM for me are attached to the record making it on the very first Polaris Short List. The night before the gala racked up over $700 in bar charges at The Drake in Toronto. They ended up begging anyone in the room to cover it for them so they could leave the hotel. In the end our title sponsor ponied up. It was a small price to pay though for what the inclusion of ATTQM gave our nascent prize: instant credibility and timeless and uncompromising music.”


Tim Kingsbury (Arcade Fire) on ‘Shine A Light’:
“I don’t really remember exactly when or who from the band asked me if I’d play on some songs with them while they were recording but I remember I was very happy about it.  I’d seen Wolf Parade a bunch of times and Arcade Fire had played a few shows with them. They were certainly my favourite band around. At the time, Spencer, Dan, Arlen, and Hadji all had something pretty amazing going on and I was excited at the chance to get involved.

I met up with them at their jam space (aka- 100 sided die) in Montreal to record.  Arlen was recording on to a laptop. No one was present who wasn’t playing.

The song that we recorded in that session that I was most familiar with, up to that point, was ‘Shine a Light’. Definitely the Wolf Parade song that had been stuck in my head the most.
I always loved the balance in this band between Dan and Spencer. They are very different from each other but they compliment each other in a way that can work so well.  You can hear it really clearly in the music. Unsurprisingly, I’ve always associated this song with Dan. In fact this song might be the Wolf Parade song I most associate with Dan and I’m huge fan of Dan’s. But in sitting down to write this, I realize that as much as I get Dan’s lyrics and melodies in my head on this song, I also get Spencer’s uhohuhouhohouh’s in my head. Maybe even equally as much. So catchy and a perfect compliment.  And the bed of Arlen’s iron fisted pop drumming. It all fits together perfectly. I love this song and I love these guys. And I got to play with them!”
WP-4Steve Bays (Hot Hot Heat) on ‘It’s a Curse’:
“Spin Magazine declared Wolf Parade a Montreal band, but they actually all grew up in Victoria, BC… and I always loved this song because it reminds me of our early days in the music scene. Partly cuz of Arlen’s drumming.. very Jonathan Fire Eater, very Tom Waits, very Victoria. But also, Dan’s melody and delivery reminds me a lot of his old band, Atlas Strategic, who I loved.. and still do! (side note: go listen to Atlas Strategic). Early Hot Hot Heat would often play with them at Logan’s, a tiny bar down the street from us that everyone I knew would frequent. When I hear this song, I think of that skinny body screaming and slamming his Gretch. And all of us trading in the all ages punk scene for early adulthood… girlfriends, roommates, thrift stores, recording a record in one day, consequence-free drinking, promiscuity,”
David Prowse (Japandroids) on ‘This Heart’s On Fire’:

“Last year, Brian and I got to back up Dan Boeckner and his band Operators on a version of this song at a show in Toronto. I tried to play it cool, but it meant the world to me. To be able to get on a stage and play one of my favourite songs, from one of my favourite records, with one of my musical heroes. How fucking crazy is that? It was overwhelming and surreal, to say the least.

Apologies to the Queen Mary is full of triumphant, howling, heart on sleeve anthems and they’re somehow able to take the tension and energy of the whole record and kick it up one more notch on this song. It comes out the gates with this slow burning momentum that keeps building and building and building until it explodes. And Dan’s vocal performance is so powerful, so cathartic. What an incredible way to end an incredible record.”